HOK’s Anne Fletcher Heads Mixed-Use Council for Urban Land Institute New York
Architect and principal for HOK’s New York studio guides industry leaders in examining the potential of multipurpose developments.
Anne Fletcher enjoys discussing big ideas, best practices and the future of design and development. And when it comes to the built environment of tomorrow, Fletcher believes one thing is certain: More and more projects will be mixed use.
“The days of single-use development are rapidly fading,” says Fletcher, who oversees mixed-use projects for HOK’s New York office. “Occupants, tenants, neighbors and developers are all wanting developments that create a fuller, richer environment with multiple elements that can play off each other in increasingly relevant ways.”
Last year, Urban Land Institute New York recognized Fletcher’s experience and interest in multipurpose developments by tapping her to help form and then chair the organization’s first-ever Mixed-Use Council. The council meets bimonthly, with Fletcher and her two co-chairs currently at work scheduling the group’s second year of programming. This month the council, whose invite-only members include leading owners, operators, developers and designers in the region, will visit South Street Seaport, a mixed-use redevelopment in Lower Manhattan.
“Our programming is member driven, and most recently we’ve been focusing on how to best integrate retail within development,” says Fletcher. “It’s essential for retail to have a direct relationship with the tenants and occupants of mixed-use developments in order to maximize the return on the larger programming. Yet because retail is in a state of flux, it’s increasingly challenging to plan for what is going to work and how to get ahead of it.”
Other programming Fletcher has helped organize for the Mixed-Use Council includes a roundtable discussion on the East Midtown Rezoning with the director of City Planning’s Manhattan Office and tours of Industry City on Brooklyn’s waterfront in Sunset Park and EOS, a residential, office and retail development in NoMad, Manhattan.
A full member of ULI since 2007, Fletcher has also served as co-chair of the New York chapter’s Sustainable Building Council and has been a member of ULI’s national product council on Redevelopment and Reuse. She was just appointed to ULI’s Urban Development and Mixed-Use Council (UDMUC-Red) and will join that council at the ULI Fall Meeting in Los Angeles.
“As much as I’ve given to ULI, I’ve gotten back even more from my conversations with other members,” adds Fletcher. “ULI members tend to be leading edge in responsible development. As a designer, it’s important to understand the development perspective so you’re not just waiting for the client to give you feedback, especially when it comes to mixed-use projects. You’re helping them think through how to combine various elements in a way that is going to complete their vision, be financially viable and create the best possible environments.”